She secretly reads EPA reports in the toilet, and ponders elderly care provision whilst on the bus, but never tells anyone ‘lest she be thought some sort of dangerous intellectual, into the books and all that. In the party, she’s regarded as quiet but solid, and loyal to a fault. She’ll always be willing to help out at election time, and when the party is in trouble, she defends the line so calmly that one might think she actually believes it.
Deep down, her conscience keeps kicking, battling with her political nous which tells her to shut up, go with the flow, and when you’re in you can do all the stuff you really believe. Then she sees Noel Dempsey who finally reached the cabinet and decided to try to do the radical stuff and suddenly realised that he was in the wrong party for doing, well, anything other than existing in three dimensions.
But there’s always a chance that just maybe she might make a difference, and lobby to get that extra €1ook into the budget that stops some kid going to bed hungry or puts an extra bed into a refuge for some wife getting the tar beaten out of her by a drunken thug of a husband. It’s those tiny victories, those tiny beams of light in the darkness that make her keep pushing against it all, which is lucky, because she is all we have.